Sunday, July 16, 2006

Quintessential Corn Muffins

Sunday, July 16, 2006
These muffins were made by the sweat of my brow. Although we're doing Minnesota tropical right now, and although I was going to do only non-oven breads until the temperature went down, I decided to make corn muffins. Our friends Doug and Mary brought us some beautiful wild blueberries from their summer house on Rainy Lake, so the idea of adding them to the corn muffins sounded too good to pass up. I thought briefly about opening the kitchen door and letting the air conditioning reach the kitchen, but we saw An Inconvenient Truth yesterday, so I couldn't quite bring myself to be that irresponsible. The recipe calls for only a 20-minute pre-heat and 15 minutes of baking, so I figured I could tough that out. And I did, but the sweat was pouring into my eyes. (Back in the day, we girls were told that we didn't sweat, we "glowed." This was sweat).
After my experience with the stone-ground extra-coarse cornmeal (which I decided to give to the birds, by the way, and they wouldn't touch it), I ordered some organic cornmeal from The Baker's Catalogue. This organic stuff was the opposite of extra-coarse; it was so fine it was almost like flour, with just a little texture and bite. It made fabulous muffins. Rose says she usually makes these muffins without blueberries because she likes the taste of corn so much, but I find it difficult to believe that they would have been improved by leaving out the wonderful Rainy Lake blueberries. They are so good that I had to promptly put them in the freezer so I wouldn't be tempted to sit down with the basket of muffins and polish them off. I really am not usually so greedy, but there are certain foods that just cry out, "Eat me." This is one of them.
We served the muffins with grilled spicy shrimp, new potatoes, peas, and baby onions from the Farmer's Market, and a cucumber, yogurt, and fresh mint salad, also from the Farmer's Market. We're lucky to be able to buy fresh vegetables all year round, but the locally grown, fresh from the farm, stuff that's available only in season is spectacularly good.

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